Finding an SUV within your budget can be difficult, but $15,000 provides many viable options that offer reliable vehicles.
These used SUVs under $15,000 deliver in terms of safety scores, fuel economy and affordability. Some examples: Nissan Juke offers ample cargo room with car-like handling.
Nissan pioneered the supermini-derived SUV class with their Juke model released back in 2010. Boasting an off-road look and driving well despite its unconventional looks, the Juke revolutionized this subcompact class of car.
The second-generation Nissan Juke builds upon this success, providing buyers with an SUV that is both practical and enjoyable to drive, thanks to its lively turbo engine and dual-clutch automatic transmission. Its taller profile makes it feel more like a small crossover than a hatchback; wide front seats provide ample headroom. Although rear seating may be tight and cargo area small, but this vehicle still provides good daily driving flexibility.
Depending on its trim level, the Juke offers various advanced driver aids. Nissan calls its top-spec version ProPilot; it combines adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist and city surround-view camera functionality into one comprehensive system that vibrates the steering wheel when approaching too closely to lane markings; we found its behavior overzealous enough that it had to be turned off.
The standard 1.6-liter direct injection gasoline engine delivers up to 34 miles per gallon on the highway and features torque vectoring technology for precise handling on winding roads. You can upgrade to the Nismo version, featuring sport tuned suspension and 18″ wheels for more powerful performance.
Interior features of the Juke are impressive, featuring a 7-inch display with navigation, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone mirroring as well as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone mirroring capabilities. However, unlike its rivals such as C-HR, which offer more advanced infotainment systems.
The Honda CR-V is one of the top used SUVs under $15,000 available today, providing fun driving with generous cargo space, fuel economy and power to spare. Plus, this top safety pick has an inline four-cylinder engine and hybrid system capable of producing 215 hp for optimal towing capabilities and is rated to tow up to 1,500 pounds! Available both front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive to suit any driver, finding one to meet your needs isn’t difficult at all!
A key reason behind the popularity of the Honda CR-V lies in its impressive driving dynamics. Its car-like ride quality and responsive handling will prove itself surprising to those used to ladder frame SUVs. The 2023 CR-V is slightly larger than its predecessor and boasts plenty of interior room for passengers and cargo – with ample storage features like its spacious center console bin, multiple door pockets, fold flat rear seats allowing even more cargo room if necessary.
Honda Sensing suite of driver assistance technologies comes standard on every CR-V model, including forward collision warning, lane-keep assist and road departure mitigation technologies. Furthermore, automatic high beams, tire pressure monitor and anti-lock brakes come as part of this vehicle. Front suspension features double wishbone design while its rear features trailing arm-based multilink suspension systems for optimal driving dynamics.
The Honda CR-V SUV’s generous passenger and cargo space make it an excellent choice for families. Furthermore, its sleek exterior design is popular among buyers who appreciate its sporty exterior style that boasts a bold front grille with LED fog lights.
Toyota Highlander Hybrid
The Toyota Highlander is an excellent three-row SUV option under $15,000. It provides all of the same capabilities of its gas-only competitors while boasting an efficient hybrid powertrain that gets up to 36 mpg in city driving and 35 on highway. Furthermore, this spacious vehicle provides ample cargo room and can seat seven in its third-row seat.
A 2.5-liter petrol engine and two electric motors join forces in this hybrid drivetrain to generate 244hp, enough power for the Highlander Hybrid to reach 62mph in 8.3 seconds; similar times can be expected within its class. Furthermore, its handling characteristics remain the same compared to standard Highlanders, making this model reliable and capable in most circumstances.
Though a hybrid vehicle, the Highlander Hybrid remains powerful on the road thanks to its electric assistance. Furthermore, it delivers a comfortable highway ride experience and boasts excellent cargo space and storage capabilities. Unfortunately, however, its battery takes up considerable cabin space that could compromise storage or flexibility options.
Like its Highlander brothers and sisters, this hybrid model comes equipped with safety and entertainment features. There is a 7-inch touchscreen display equipped with Entune Premium Audio system which offers useful apps and connectivity options like remote starting of car as well as streaming audio from smart device to it.
There are various USB chargers throughout the cabin so everyone can stay charged up. Meanwhile, the Bird’s Eye View camera makes parking simple, while Toyota warranty coverage includes an excellent two-year maintenance plan and hybrid-component warranties that provide excellent peace of mind.
The Tiguan stands out among small SUVs as an excellent option. It has a spacious cabin that comfortably seats five, while its rear seats fold down flat to reveal an expansive storage area able to carry more than 600 liters – enough room to transport two sofas or an entire bed!
Tiguan’s 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine delivers 184 horsepower and 221 pound-feet of torque, coupled with an eight-speed automatic transmission for smooth shifting and precise control. While not among the fastest or most powerful cars in its class, Tiguan is notable for providing responsive handling and reliable stopping performance.
Fuel efficiency is also one of the hallmarks of the Ford Focus: front-wheel drive versions can return 24 mpg in city driving conditions and 30 mph on highway journeys, respectively. Furthermore, you’ll enjoy even better fuel economy if you choose SE R-Line Black or SEL R-Line models which provide up to 22/27 MPG efficiency respectively.
The 2022 Tiguan is designed with comfort and practicality in mind, featuring an adjustable driver’s seat with plenty of leg room, roomy rear seats with 40:20:40 split seating that are suitable for family trips, as well as numerous cup/bottle holders throughout its cabin and an expansive glovebox.
Interior options for the SEL R-Line Black and SEL models can be upgraded with real leather for an additional fee. All models include standard rearview cameras; however, you may add optional panoramic sunroofs and HomeLink Connect services at an additional cost.
For those in search of an SUV under $15,000 with an eye toward luxury, the Mercedes-Benz GLK should top their list. This compact luxury SUV resembles the C-Class sedan while providing light off-roading capability and snowy commutes.
Its upright shape and 302-horsepower V6 provide a quick ride with plenty of power for merging and passing other vehicles, and its 18 mpg overall fuel consumption makes the GLK an excellent companion for daily commuting needs. Unfortunately, its small side mirrors and rough ride comfort make long drives less than pleasant experiences.
The GLK offers comfortable front seats, an expansive cargo area that can expand to 54.7 cubic feet when rear seats are folded down, ample legroom for adults in back, and sufficient headroom for people 6-feet tall or taller. Furthermore, this SUV provides high levels of adjustability for the driver and comes standard with blind-spot monitoring and lane-keeping monitoring systems; additionally an upgraded $2,950 package adds electronic power-steering that prevents loose lane drifting via force feedback.
While its sophisticated electronics and refined driving dynamics set it apart from competitors like the BMW X3 and Audi Q5, its outdated exterior styling and smaller than average cargo space are notable drawbacks. Annoying features like complicated multimedia controls or an unresponsive stop/start system may detract from its appeal and distract drivers.